Tzfat Chief Rabbi Shmuel Eliyahu called Sunday not to purchase agricultural produce from Israeli Arabs in the aftermath of the violent riots in which a number of Jews were killed by Israeli Arabs during the Guardian Of The Walls campaign. In response, MK Musi Raz (Meretz) called on the Attorney-General to investigate the rabbi on counts of racial incitement.
Rabbi Eliyahu had called on his followers to purchase only from Jews, stating that “we are after continued fighting against the Arab enemy who wishes to eradicate us, shooting at innocent people indiscriminately. We have seen that even within the country there are those who wish to kill us and not just in Gaza.
“Thousands of Israeli Arabs threw stones at women and children because they are Jewish. We saw petrol bombs thrown at innocent people and horrific lynches against people who were on their way to the synagogue. Therefore we must strengthen Jewish farmers and purchase agricultural produce only from Jews and not from the Arabs who wish for our demise.” Rabbi Eliyahu added that due to the coronavirus crisis one should only purchase from Jews.
Rabbi Eliyahu’s call was included in a call by the Otzar Haaretz organization which provides Jewish produce during the Shmita year rather than relying on Arab produce. The organization stated that “you wouldn’t want your next tomato to finance a terror balloon or your cucumber to finance the next rocket.”
Raz responded by stating that Rabbi Eliyahu’s call “raises concern of violation of the law against promoting incitement to racism and it comes from a public figure with considerable influence over public opinion.”
He added that “this call which is tainted with the crude taste of racism towards gentiles, could be taken as legitimate. I call upon you to investigate these racist comments and act in accordance with the law if these comments violate criminal law.”